By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA
An eight-year old Knoxville start-up has entered into a major partnership with an award-winning portfolio management system and client reporting solution for financial advisors and wealth managers.
SmartRIA, founded in 2011 by Roger Kiger, announced yesterday an integration with SS&Cs’ Black Diamond Wealth Platform to significantly streamline the surveillance of compliance activities for well-established registered investment advisory firms (RIAs).
“It’s significant for us because Black Diamond is a big company with thousands of customers,” says Mac Bartine, SmartRIA’s Chief Executive Officer. “It’s the exact right market for us, and we’re the only compliance solution integrated into their product.”
Kiger, a Certified Financial Planner and founder of Visionary Horizons Wealth Management, packaged 10 years of experience into the SmartRIA product to automate compliance requirements faced by small, independent investment firms or even individual advisors. Bartine joined the company near the end of 2015.
According to yesterday’s announcement, the direct connection between the two systems allows registered investment advisory firms to use Black Diamond data within SmartRIA. The shared data creates a 360-degree view of client households, which facilitates surveillance of mission critical compliance issues. These can include client annual reviews, trading inactivity and high account cash balance alerts, viewing and reporting on accounts by discretionary/non-discretionary status, and other complex compliance oversight issues.
“We are pleased to integrate SmartRIA with Black Diamond, allowing our mutual customers to address critical compliance obligations with minimal setup and training,” Bartine said. “Early feedback has been very positive, and we look forward to a long relationship with Black Diamond that drives significant value for our customers.”
Yesterday’s announcement noted that the simplified compliance experience created by the Black Diamond and SmartRIA integration is timely as wealth management firms continue to be fined for compliance deficiencies stemming from inefficient systems and incomplete surveillance of client data and interactions.
Wealth management firms are under increasing pressure to adopt technology solutions that simplify their compliance workflows while assuring they’re better prepared for an audit. The announcement of this integration presents an exceptional technology solution for alleviating that pressure.
“Advisors need the latest technology and powerful tools to help reduce compliance risk,” said Eli George, Senior Director for Solutions Management at SS&C Technologies. “A solution like SmartRIA is the type of cutting-edge technology that keeps us on the leading edge of innovation and provides our clients a competitive advantage.”
The integration, developed by SmartRIA with the support of Black Diamond and initial beta users, has been operational for over six months and is available to all firms as of today.
As for SmartRIA’s progress, Bartine told us “everything has doubled across the board including revenue” since we posted this article on teknovation.biz last May. That includes firms using the software – now more than 1,000 – and strategic partners – now at 22.